35 Black churches stretching from Alaska to Alabama will receive funding to renovate, restore, and preserve buildings across the United States.
The first round of grants range from $50,000 to $200,000 and will be distrubuted to maintain church buildings, properties, and even historic cemeteries.
Via The National Trust For Historic Preservation and African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, the preservation is set to not only restore buildings, but embody the impactful stories connected.
In an interview with SelahBuzz, Brent Leggs, the fund’s executive director, details the efforts.
“Our grants will help advance efforts to improve physical conditions so that these churches can open their doors and continue to fulfill their religious missions and community programs,” Leggs said, “Leaving an indelible imprint on our society, historic Black churches hold an endearing legacy of community, spirituality and freedom that continues to span generations.”
Historic black churches blessed with funding, pastors thanking God for provision
Churches like 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that held civil rights meetings in the 1960s to the oldest black continuous congregation in Brooklyn, New York.
Rev. Monica Marshall of Varick Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York remembers joining the church’s youth choir, and later becoming the pastor.
Her church, like many others, experienced delays in renovations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants allow restorations to continue after years of delay due to insuficient funding.
“The pandemic made it harder to maintain the building,” Marshall said in a Fortune interview. “I just heard God tell me, ‘You’re not going back into the same building that you came out of.’ The people have been very faithful, they’ve been waiting on my vision and it just came true.”
Varick Memorial AME Zion Church Brooklyn, NY. Gothamist, BOLT architecture, January 16, 2023, https://gothamist.com/arts-entertainment/2-historic-black-churches-in-nyc-get-grants-for-restoration
Read more of the GODTV blog here